THE COMMUNITY RESILIENCY MODEL (CRM) trains community members to not only help themselves but to help others within their wider social network. The primary focus of this skills-based, stabilization program is to re-set the natural balance of the nervous system. CRM skills help individuals understand their nervous system and learn to track sensations connected to their own well-being, which CRM calls “Resilience”. The nervous system begins to return to its normal balance or rhythm (referred to as the “Resilient Zone”) as the individual learns to use the skills of CRM. The website www.communityresiliencymodel.com was launched in March of 2013.
CRM’s goal is to help to create “trauma-informed” and “resiliency-informed” communities that share a common understanding of the impact of trauma on the nervous system and how resiliency can be restored using this skills-based approach. CRM is an example of “Appropriate Technology,” a term which is defined as “technology that ordinary people can use for their own benefit and the benefit of their communities,that doesn’t make them dependent on systems over which they have no control” (J.Turner).
Providing educational materials such as the iChill app available for smart phones and PCs and MACs to support a community-oriented approach is an important way we promote independence as well as education about the biology of the human body and how it responds to traumatic events and most importantly, how to restore or enhance resiliency. Our goal is to make the skills a part of healing in daily life, to increase a sense of one’s ability to help him/herself, to learn how to bring the body, mind and spirit into greater balance and to encourage people to pass the skills along to friends and loved ones.
TRI has implemented a State of California, Mental Health Services Act project in San Bernardino County, CA through its Department of Behavioral Health Innovations Department, which implemented CRM county wide via a Train-the-Trainer program. Community members from 7 underserved groups (designated by the Department of Behavioral Health) participated in training to become CRM Skills trainers. The 3-year project is completed December 31, 2013. . Due to early successes in year 1, TRI received an extension to the Innovations Funding, which provided CRM training and a Train-the-Trainer program to 44 active duty service members, veterans and their families. The research has demonstrated a reduction in symptoms of depression, anxiety and hostility at statistically significant levels.
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee has funded an 8-phase project in the Central Plateau and Port au Prince in Haiti. TRI has trained 61 CRM trainers. A research project co-funded by HelpAge was completed in July of 2012. The preliminary results indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the treatment and control groups (p=.03), pre-test to post-test, on the Depression sub-scale of the Hopkins 25 and on the Hopkins 25 overall.
TRI has been busy in 2013 and 2014. TRI’s goal is to create capacity in local communities. TRI has conducted trainings in the Community Resiliency Model in the Philippines, Guatemala, Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Darfur & Ugandan CRM Skills Trainers now exist). We are returning to Guatemala and the Philippines in the Spring of 2014.
In the United States, Peace over Violence in Los Angeles and the Center for Community Solutions, two groups that are leaders in healing families effected by domestic violence sponsored trainings in 2013. In North Carolina, MAHEC is sponsoring the first Community Resiliency Model Train the Trainer on the East Coast. TRI trainers just completed trainings for Clear Path for Veterans and Headstart for the Syracuse New York Community. More trainings will take place in New York City, Montana, Idaho and California in 2014.
The following are statements made by community members who participated in Community Resiliency Model trainings:
Testimonials from graduates of the CRM Training
“I went into a panic at a meeting but was able to pull (a fellow class member) outside to help me. I got back in my resilient zone in a few minutes where before my symptoms would have me in bed for days. My husband was shocked at how fast it worked.” (Wife of a Vietnam War Vet who also suffers from PTSD/Depression)
“I always looked at it as something he was going through and had nothing to do with me. But now I see more and we’re coming at it from the same angle rather than opposing points. Now that I know about the resilient zone I can track when (he) gets stuck on high or low or is even a little bit out (of the zone). I’m also more calm now myself than I was before because I’m tracking myself.” (Wife of Vietnam War Vet)
“Before this class started I was feeling really burnt out and thinking I needed to take a break from the work and people in general. Now I can use tracking, grounding and resourcing to help myself so I no longer carry the burden from work to the car to home. I had forgotten what feelings should be like toward others. I take more time for me now, and the skills help me with Self-awareness. I found that the skills help me maintain enough distance from clients to be able to continue helping people.” (Social Worker planning to work with Vets who currently works with inner city youth and parents)
For more information, contact TRI to learn how to bring Community Resiliency Model Trainings to your community.